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“To keep our offices and stores throughout the UK and Ireland up-and-running, we require a variety of supplies and retail consumables. In the past, we’d procured these from numerous regional suppliers. However, since consolidating several of these products with OfficeTeam, we now receive better value, free delivery and streamlined invoicing and reporting.”

The Challenge

Smyths Toys operates 94 stores and several offices across the UK mainland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, with additional stores opening soon. To keep these sites ready for business, it purchases a range of GNFR items spanning several product categories. In the past, it had procured these from numerous suppliers with separate buying arrangements in place for each territory. However, it sought to achieve better value by consolidating these product categories with fewer suppliers who could deliver to sites in all regions.

Our Solution

OfficeTeam was already supplying stationery and workplace products (such as catering and janitorial supplies) for Smyths Toys across mainland UK. This included the provision of bespoke retail consumables such as till rolls and bags. As a result, we had already proved our ability to supply multiple product categories. So, Smyths Toys asked us to demonstrate the value we could offer as its single source supplier for these goods to the UK mainland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This was possible due to our network of depots throughout the UK and Ireland, served by an in-house delivery fleet. Based on this larger basket of goods, we were able to offer volume-based savings. In addition, our fleet allowed us to eliminate third party carriage costs by delivering for free.

Based on our proven product capabilities, delivery model and proposed savings, Smyths Toys chose to consolidate these product categories with OfficeTeam. In addition, we worked together to identify additional GNFR products we could pick up to reduce costs further. This has led us to source several ad hoc requirements for Smyths Toys, including unusual items such as helium valves, gazebos and tools.

To control costs further, we worked with Smyths Toys to agree budget limits for each site, along with a requisition list – a restricted list of products which sites can order from without approval. To facilitate online ordering, we loaded these parameters into our online ordering portal. Any orders which are above the set budget or include items outside of the agreed list are automatically flagged to Head Office for approval before being released for pick. Orders are delivered on a single delivery and Smyths Toys is charged on one, consolidated invoice.

In addition to this streamlined approach to ordering and delivery, Smyths Toys benefits from central account management. Its entire business is served by a dedicated Account Manager, supported by named contacts within a central Customer Services helpdesk. The team supplies regular management information reports, providing visibility of spend and usage across these product categories and regions. In addition, the Account Manager arranges quarterly review meetings at Smyths Toys’ Head Office in Ireland to review the performance of the contract and identify further cost saving opportunities.

The team works with Smyths Toys to support new store openings. We collate the GNFR goods required to get the store up-and-running and arrange for them to be delivered ahead of the store’s scheduled opening date.

Who is Smyths Toys?

Smyths Toys is a leading provider of children’s entertainment products with 94 stores throughout the UK and Ireland. The company’s goal is to provide consumers with an extensive range of high quality products – spanning toys, bikes and video games – at competitive prices.